On her way to a veterinarian conference, Sawyer Noel’s car runs out of juice in a rural area with nowhere to plug in. She rolls into tiny Ladybug Junction and is quickly befriended by local librarian Macey Burr. Their attraction is immediate and so easy it’s like a dream.
After a harsh revelation, their budding romance is tested most unexpectedly. Their desire to follow their hearts must overcome fear and confusion about their desires and hopes.
Mildred: The dramatic turn that creates chaos and uncertainty between Sawyer and Macey is brilliantly done and completely unexpected. A neurodiversity with hints of something more kept me on edge as a reader. I didn’t know what to expect after the twist, and I enjoyed how the author kept them wanting more but having to constantly give and take care and understanding to grow the romance both of them wanted.
Jenna: Dreamer is different than Kris Bryant’s usual fare, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the concept. I too, was kept on the edge and found myself turning pages quickly because I needed to see how it was all going to shake out. Kris Bryant’s ability to write an engaging story through first person is at play here. I felt Sawyer’s uncertainties down to my bones and learning about Macey through Sawyer’s eyes kept up a bit of a mystery about her character. Ladybug Junction’s quaintness is described to make it the pinnacle of perfection!
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Mildred: I really like Sawyer and Macey, though neither of them is what I thought they were on first meeting. I also fell completely in love with Ladybug Junction and its very nice inhabitants. Sawyer especially was someone I can relate to, with her romantic uncertainty but unending hopefulness. It’s fun to read about someone who knows what they want but has issues with understanding cues.
Jenna: I adored Sawyer, her curiosity, compassion, and romantic nature. Her life was turned completely upside down yet she didn’t shy away from getting answers and opening her heart to Macey. She’s a wonderful veterinarian whose patients adore her. She had a vision for what she wanted in her own practice and I give her credit for taking a risk! I adore her parents, Tamsyn, Lauren, and Arya as they are all essential to the storyline because without their love and support, she probably wouldn’t have come out the other side happy and healthy.
Mildred: The uncertainty set up by the surprise twist was maintained in a very natural way for a lot longer than I would have expected. The author then piled on with some added uncertainties making for an even stronger story. On the surface, even with the twist it seems like a straightforward story. As the romance goes it is that way, but I kept waiting for something else to pop up. I like being kept on my toes like that.
Jenna: The romance between Macey and Sawyer is sweet with an underlying current of uncertainty. The chemistry is palpable and there are some really sexy times (thank you Kris!). Macey’s lack of understanding despite her profession shows that there is definitely a line between personal and professional. Her heart was at stake and she was afraid of getting hurt so I feel her responses on that front were valid.
Jenna: I wish that there was a veterinary practice like Healing Paws in my area because we’d take our dog there for sure!
Mildred: I was surprised by Macey’s ongoing reactions to Sawyer, but they made everything so much more believable. The whole plot has the same kind of crazy but believable feeling.
Nothing that we can think of.
Mildred: Sawyer and Macey fall for each other quickly after Sawyer becomes stranded in the adorable small town of Ladybug Junction. After a sudden turn of events, their budding relationship is tested. They are both sure about wanting each other but must find a way to trust and understand how their lives have changed.
The romance is sweet, and the test of their feelings is sudden and harsh but organic and clever. I found the concept shrewd and very well carried out by the author.
Jenna: Dreamer is an enjoyable romance about healing, vulnerability, change, and courage. Sawyer and Macey are lovely main characters whose happily ever after was not easy to come by. Their journey is bumpy with twists and turns that kept me turning pages quickly. The suspense kept me guessing and I honestly couldn’t relax until the last page. These ladies are supported by friends and family who are pivotal to the story arc. Dreamer holds an air of whimsical mystery with a romance that made me smile. I recommend giving it a read!
Excerpt from Dreamer by Kris Bryant
“Ladybugs fly through this part of the country during their migration,” she said. She briefly touched my hand. “Fifty years ago, this town was called Memorial Junction. Now, where’s the fun in that name?”
“Do I even want to know why it was called Memorial Junction?”
“Alabama was active in the Civil War.”
I held my hand up to stop her. “I get it. And ladybugs are more fun.”
“The tourists are different. We used to do Civil War reenactments, but we voted to discontinue them. The wrong kind of people were visiting,” she said. Macey leaned back when Damon slid two lunch plates in front of us. “And ask yourself who can hate ladybugs?”
This felt so unbelievable. A small town like this in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception and only glimpses of modern-day life was equal parts unnerving and relaxing. A part of me welcomed the peace, but the other, stronger part of me told me to run. I blamed Tamsyn and her love of scary movies. If I hadn’t seen movies like Get Out or Deliverance, I would be completely at ease. Instead, I was rubbing the back of my neck and hoping this pretty woman in front of me couldn’t tell I was sweating. “Well, it’s a bug and I don’t like them, so I’m the wrong person to ask.”
She leaned forward and whispered, “You probably should keep that to yourself.”
She looked so serious until she delivered the perfect wink. I felt the tension crack and fall off my shoulders in chunks. Even though I felt out of sorts with a broken-down car and a town full of strangers, I was grateful that Macey happened to run into me today.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 13: 978-1-63679-379-5
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
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